Community After Winning the Ottawa 10K, Malindi Elmore on Endurance, Records and Grit...

    After Winning the Ottawa 10K, Malindi Elmore on Endurance, Records and Grit Needed for 2024 Paris Olympic Games

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    On Saturday, Malindi Elmore won the Ottawa 10K presented by Otto’s Ottawa, arguably the most prestigious 10K in the country. Elmore, three-time Olympian, fastest Canadian woman ever at Boston and preparing to run the marathon—at 44—at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, seems to only get better with age. Ahead of her historic journey, iRun caught up with Elmore and asked her to take the temperature of our world. 

    iRun: Your third Olympic Games start in two months, how do you feel? 

    Malindi Elmore: At 20-years-old I certainly never imagined I’d be going to a third Olympics—especially at 44. 

    iRun: What excites you most about our sport? 

    ME: The idea that I can do more than I’ve done has always fueled me. 

    iRun: From college to motherhood, how has running changed and how has our sport stayed the same? 

    ME: Everything’s changed, but one step in front of the other, connecting with myself, my dreams, my ideas and other people—through running—has stayed the same. 

    iRun: How does running allow you to connect with yourself? 

    ME: By offering a chance to slow down and actually have time to think. 

    iRun: Have you learned one simple thing for longevity? 

    ME: Don’t run through injuries. 

    iRun: Can you explain that for us middle-of-the-pack joggers?

    ME: Prioritize sleep, eating well and stress-management. That will not only make any runner feel better, but also lead to better performances and better motivation. 

    iRun: It takes courage sometimes to run less. 

    ME: I was supposed to run Boston and my hamstring wasn’t great and we decided to pull the plug. When I was younger, I would’ve run through it and put myself in a position where I needed to take three months off because of injury. 

    iRun: How would you improve access to exercise for women? 

    ME: We need to give girls confidence through puberty and the teenage years. 

    iRun: How? 

    ME: Keep the focus on fun and remind young women that the priority should be process, not result-based, goals.    

    iRun: What’s your goal for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games? 

    ME: A top ten finish like last time would be amazing. 

    iRun: I’m sure you’ve sussed out the course.

    ME: Twice the elevation of Boston—epic, unlike any other marathon. So being patient and working on finishing the last 10K strong is the plan. I want to come off the hills with strength in my legs and run people down. 

    iRun: How have you prepared to run down the fastest marathoners in the world, half your age, at the end of a race twice as hard as Boston?

    ME: Running hills and being strong in the weight room.  

    iRun: Can you go faster than 2:23:30—take off fifteen seconds and become, again, Canada’s fastest marathon runner of all-time? 

    ME: The goal is to break my personal record and run under 2:23. Run a 2:22—or faster. 

    iRun: Could you do that later in life, after the Olympics, say when you’re 49? 

    ME: Why not? 

    Photographs courtesy of Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend and Saucony.

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